Perfect Homemade Cheesecake

We traveled to the relatives house for Easter this year and I took along the cupcakes you see in the photo elsewhere on the blog (below) and a cheesecake. In order to please the masses I left half plain and put pastel sprinkles on it just to add an Easter/Spring touch, and the other side, after slicing, was drizzled with caramel and topped with chocolate curls. The only problem is that the house was full of people, it was a hectic time trying to get the meal and desserts done with 25 people pushing through and milling about - screaming and laughing children, loud conversation and well... we forgot to actually take a picture.

My husband saw me slicing the cheesecake and knowing that I have to take photos of most of our food for my recipe blog he grabbed the camera and quickly snapped one picture before being pulled away by his father to talk about... well, I have no idea, but he disappeared and this is the only photo of the oh-so-delicious, perfectly creamy cheesecake we have.

It's not a pretty picture, but it was an incredible cheesecake!

Rich and Creamy Cheesecake

1 T butter, melted
3 T graham cracker crumbs
2 lbs. regular, name brand cream cheese (I used Raskas from Costco - incredibly creamy!)
1 1/4 c sugar
4 large eggs
1 t zest from 1 lemon
2 t vanilla
1/4 c heavy cream
1/4 c sour cream

Preheat oven to 325. Place foil over bottom disk of a 9 inch springform pan. Tuck excess underneath, assemble the pan and pull the excess foil up over the sides. Brush the interior of hte pan with butter. Sprinkle graham crumbs into pan, tilt to cover. Cover exterior of pan with heavy duty foil and set into a large roasting pan.

Beat cream cheese until smooth. Add sugar and beat about 3 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until incorporated and scraping down the sides of the bowl often to prevent any lumps. Add zest and vanilla, beat. Stir in cream and sour cream by hand. Pour batter into springform pan and set the roasting pan on the rack. Now add boiling water in the roasting pan around the springform pan, half way up the sides. Bake about 55-60 minutes until the permiater of the cake is set but the center is still slightly jiggly when you tap the pan. Turn off the heat of the oven and leave the oven door open but do not remove the pan.

Leave it in the turned off oven for 1 hour (with the door open!) Remove, set on wire rack to cool. Cover and refrigerate until the next day. After cooling I froze mine and removed it the day before Easter to thaw in the refrigerator. As you can see from the photo it turned out perfectly! No cracks and it was the creamiest cheesecake we've ever had.

I found this recipe in "The Perfect Recipe" Cookbook by Pam Anderson (which I've owned for almost 10 years now!) - and I checked, it's still available through Amazon!

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